One of the noticeable changes in the Indian media under the Centre’s Narendra Modi government has been the emboldening of erstwhile journalists, who’ve now come out in the open to flaunt their bigotry and hatred for Muslims. While a section of the media has simply surrendered their editorial independence to the Centre’s BJP-led government for want of financial gains, others have shown their allegiance to the saffron party for their ideological similarities. Social media users have been diligently calling out the new breed of journalists, also known as Hindutva flag-bearers. On Tuesday, these nimble-footed social media users gave grief to Chitra Tripathi of ABP News. Tripathi has been a prominent face of the channel for many months and have fronted its several high-profile programmes including election shows.
On Tuesday, she faced incessant criticism for her communal tweet, which had questioned if India’s Muslims have ever opened the doors of mosques for Hindu devotees to offer their prayers. Posted on 3 December, her tweet read, “Has a mosque ever opened its doors for puja (Hindu prayers)?”
Tripathi’s tweet was seemingly in the context of a recent development in Bulandshahr, where a Hindu temple had offered its space to Muslim devotees, going to attend the global congregation or Ijitima, for namaz.
No sooner had she posted her ill-fated tweet, many took to Twitter to remind here that there had been plenty of examples when Muslims allowed Hindu devotees to offer prayers inside mosques. Posting a link to a news story on how Muslims in Kerala had opened the doors of a mosque for Hindus to worship in Kerala in 2010, one user Joy Das wrote, “There are many cases. Maybe you are ignorant or maybe it might hurt ur agenda.”
There are many cases. Maybe you are ignorant or maybe it might hurt ur agenda https://t.co/0ha06pyJD2
— Joy (@Joydas) December 3, 2018
Joy also posted another link of a story explaining how In Kerala and other parts of India Hindus had been offering puja at mosques while Muslims prayed inside a church. This, he sought to highlight, was the beauty of India’s age-old multicultural ethos that journalists like Tripathi was determined to destroy in new India.
Another user Asad Uddin Kurwai too wrote, “Today, you’ve lost the respect you had as a journalist. Today, you too are standing with those who are hell-bent on spreading hatred in the country. During the Kumbh festival in Ujjain, Muslims had opened the doors of a mosque for their Hindu brothers.
एक पत्रकार के प्रति जो इज्जत थी आपकी आपने आज वो खत्म कर ली, आज आप भी देश में नफरत फैलाने वालों के साथ खड़ी नज़र आ रही हैं
उज्जैन में हुए सिंहस्थ कुंभ के दौरान हिन्दू भाइयों के लिए मस्जिदें खोली गई थी
अगर सहमत है तो RT करेंhttps://t.co/Fjd388wDLh
— Asad Uddin Kurwai (@AsadKurwai) December 4, 2018
The incident highlighted by Kurwai had taken place in May 2016 during the Singhastha Kumbh fair and was reported by Janta Ka Reporter too. ABP News channel has chosen not to take the note of her communally divisive tweet. The channel’s editorial focus appears to have undergone a sea change since it sacked three prominent journalists after they were found to be critical of the Modi government. The ouster of Milind Khandekar, Abhisar Sharma and Punya Prasun Bajpai had become a hugely controversial topic.
We’ve tried to contact ABP News’ Managing Editor Rajnish Ahuja for comments but he was not available. This story will be updated once we hear from him.